Human Genetics and Languages
Published Online: 15 JUL 2008
Copyright © 2001 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd. All rights reserved.
How to Cite
Comas, D., Bosch, E. and Calafell, F. 2008. Human Genetics and Languages. eLS. .
- Published Online: 15 JUL 2008
The similarities between the mode of inheritance and evolution of genes and languages have fostered interest in the joint analysis of both disciplines. The correlation between genes and languages was firstly demonstrated by Cavalli-Sforza and collaborators comparing a tree build from ‘classical’ genetic markers to a linguistic tree of languages. Several criticisms to this correlation have been raised and a large number of exceptions have been described. It has been shown that the most plausible factor that influences in the correlation of genes and languages is geography. However, the information provided by genetics and linguistics, as well as the one provided by other disciplines, will allow us to reconstruct the history of humankind.
- genetic diversity;
- linguistic trees;
- genetic trees;
- language families;
- population genetics